There's a scene in Julian Schnabel's "Before Night Falls," where Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, embodied by Javier Bardem, transcends a moment to the haunting voice of legendary Lebanese singer Fairuz, whose voice breaks and yearns and turns like Arabic script at the words habibi…habibi; in English, my love…my love. Urgent, sharp, and elegant, it's a distant voice, just out of reach, tempting us towards it. Holy and mysterious, attractive and erie, imaginary even because it is so sublime. A siren song. The name Fairuz meaning "turquoise" in Arabic and the music "Kamata Mariyam," a sacred ode to the Virgin Mary, the Arabic Easter hymn made so vulnerable through her sensual voice and Schnabel's masterful vision, it is as if an angel were shattering into pieces, breaking on the floor along with our hearts, elevating us to a higher place. But it is only a suggestion, if you would like to follow.
Beauty in breaking down. A deep, deep beauty, as deep as the Tigris, Euphrates or Jordan rivers, filled with wild, ancient stories that resonate passionately and get swallowed up by rushing waters. That is the beauty of the Middle East. It is a dark, fierce, mysterious beauty of rapid rivers, a triumphant phoenix, succulents in the desert sipping what they can from the earth, survival and a desire to flourish under a hot, blazing sun. It can overtake you. It is kohl and honey, hennaed hair and evil eyes, echoing over a vast desert land, sometimes silenced by the endless sand and hidden by a pyramid's triangular, epic shadow. It is beauty in shadows, holy lands shared by all. But it's only a suggestion. Habibi, habibi. Ahava, Ahava. 
~Giselle Wasfie
Giselle Wasfie, L.Ac.
REMIX Acupuncture + Integrative Health, LLC
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~August 2013